(Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey put to rest any lingering questions about a potential 2020 bid for the presidency, declaring on a late-night talk show on Thursday that she was “definitely not running.”
The media mogul, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, was emphatic in her response to host Kimmel’s question about whether she would run.
“Where do I look into the camera? I am definitely not running for president,” Winfrey said over cries of “no” from the studio audience.
Last month, Winfrey fans lit up Twitter with calls for her to run for president in 2020 against U.S. President Donald Trump after she gave an inspiring speech at the Golden Globe awards show in support of those who have exposed sexual misconduct.
“You now, you give a speech and then you sit down and you have surprisingly started to run for president,” Winfrey told Kimmel, calling it “a humbling thing to have people think that you can run the country.”
She acknowledged, though, having thought about it.
“I am the kind of person who tries to listen to signs. I think, well am I supposed to run the country? I don’t think so.”
Known by millions on first-name basis, Winfrey first rose to fame as the host of a television talk show, using it to build a media empire that spans magazine publishing, movie and television production, cable TV and satellite radio. Born into poverty, she is now one of the world’s wealthiest women and been nominated for two Academy Awards. She has long been associated with Democratic Party causes and fundraising.
Trump has several times said he hoped he would face Winfrey as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race.
On Sunday night, he blasted her over a segment on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program in which she led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a wide ranging discussion about Trump’s first year in office.
Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”
Asked by Kimmel whether she had thought about responding to the tweet, Winfrey replied: “Not a second.”
She added: “You don’t win by meeting any kind of negativity head on.”
Reporting by Nichola GroomEditing by Marguerita Choy